Seriously, Train Your Dog Already

Hellpuppy Kora on Patrol

'Driver! Follow that squirrel!'

So Hellpuppy Kora is the first dog we’ve had as adults. At least for our families, the family dogs of our childhood were…just sort of there. They didn’t really have much in the way of training, partly because as kids we had no idea how to train them and mostly because our parents didn’t have time due to…well, I mean, they were too busy trying to train us not to gnaw on furniture to worry with the resident quadrupeds. We knew before we got Kora that we wanted to be able to train her…and seeing this post about National Train Your Dog Month got me thinking again about the regret I feel towards those earlier dogs.

In my family, our dogs were outside dogs. And I don’t regret that–we lived where they had free reign of several acres and they looked to be having a damn blast. I’m sure somebody could try and tell me differently but they seemed happy as hell to be tearing around, terrorizing wildlife, you know–what you would do if you were a dog. No, it’s in seeing just how well Kora turned out and just how damn smart she is…that I have to wonder how smart my family dogs actually were…and I regret not finding out because I didn’t know to train them. And I think we all would have had more fun if we had been able to figure out interspecies communication. Along those lines–and before I tell you why I think you need to get your dog trained–here’s the video we watched that set us down the path of how to train Kora.


By | 2017-09-24T22:28:29+00:00 January 15th, 2013|Stimuli|2 Comments

A Hellpuppy’s Guide to the Apocalypse

Hearing about the potential apocalypse this past weekend got our Hellpuppy Kora thinking seriously about what she would do if the unthinkable happened and we were no longer there to, you know, open the giant tub of kibble for her. And other tasks we perform. What follows was typed for her, as she has no real fingers to speak of.

The Hellpuppy, enjoying some light reading.

An apocalypse has left you without your humans? At first you might think “Woo-hoo! Time to jump on the bed whenever I want and eat stuff off the kitchen counters!” But before you start rejoicing at the thought of a post-human world, ask yourself this: where will your kibble come from? Who will let you in when it’s snowing outside? Realistically speaking, life without your humans might be rough. After all, they have thumbs.


By | 2017-09-24T22:28:35+00:00 December 25th, 2012|Stimuli|1 Comment

Our Life With the Hellhound: A Day in the Life

Hellpuppy in snow

Hellpuppy Kora has been with us a whole year now, and she’s grown a lot (and not just in size). We’ve been through all sorts of puppy and adolescent behavior over the last year, and although she’s still a puppy in many ways, our little Kora is definitely growing up.

When we spoke to Kora’s foster moms before adopting her, they warned us that she was not the type of dog that you would want to go jogging with. We eventually stopped laughing at the thought of either of us jogging and told them that it wouldn’t be a problem. Kora’s mom, Niobe, apparently has 10-15 minute bursts of energy and then totally sacks out for a while.

But we don’t want you to get the wrong idea, that our hellpuppy lives a live of luxury, nomming on souls with abandon. No, she has an extremely busy life and we thought we’d share with you how she spends an average day.

By | 2017-09-24T22:51:29+00:00 May 31st, 2010|Stimuli|2 Comments

Hellpuppy Kora is One Year Old!

Tiny Kora during her first week with us Big Kora in the snow 2/13/10

On left, The Beast, mini-sized. On the right, what happened after we fed her.

So our little rather large Hellpuppy Kora is one year old today! I know dogs are technically adults at one, but we liken it to the fact that you’re supposedly a human adult at eighteen. Legally, yes, you’re an adult at age eighteen, but who are we kidding–you’re not really a grownup yet. Kora’s definitely still a puppy in many, many ways. We didn’t bring cupcakes to Doggie Daycare or anything, but the birthday girl will be getting her favorite treat, a Bully Stick, with dinner tonight. It’s been a while since our last update, so let’s get a recap of our fall and winter activities thus far.


By | 2017-09-24T22:54:28+00:00 February 14th, 2010|Stimuli|4 Comments

These Are a Few of Hellpuppy Kora’s Favorite Things

Kora is a very discriminating Hellpuppy, and her tastes in toys and treats have changed over the past several months. The tug-a-jug is out of favor, the Nylabone is in right now… Granted, she is somewhat limited by what we give her, but we are aware that she is also extremely spoiled by us. We are also endeavoring not to give her products from China (at least things that go in her mouth) because of health and safety concerns, and particularly with toys, it can be hard to find Kora-proof ones not made there. Nevertheless, here is a roundup of her current favorites.

Kora’s Top Ten Favorite Toys:

10. Her squeaker toy: I made this for her because all of the squeaky toys we found were either plush (not encouraged in our house because of the proliferation of off-limits stuffed animals) or made in China. You can buy plain squeakers, though, and that’s what we did. It’s canvas, and the little arms can be tied into knots that she can then untie. The squeaker is in the middle, and it’s also a good tug toy and fling-around-and-pretend-it’s-prey toy. And she may look cute in the below pic, but she tries to kill this thing like it was made of Hitler. Despite partial shredding, it has held up really well.

Kora with her Squeaker toy


By | 2017-09-24T22:55:47+00:00 January 6th, 2010|Stimuli|11 Comments

Our Life With the Hellhound: Months 3 and 4

Kora and her Sock

This started out as just a Month 3 update, but after DragonCon madness, it’s also covering Month 4 now. We’ll be catching up now that 32 Days is behind us as well. As I write the first draft of this post, Kora is now seven months old and about sixty pounds! Not only are the puppy teeth all gone, but someone’s bulking up–her neck grew out of her little collar literally overnight. Since she’s been better about jumping on furniture and chewing in her supervised area, we’re trying to let her have freer reign in the house. The ottoman in the library has been gnawed upon a tiny bit, and moving the bells from the hall door to the front door somehow set us back a few times with the housetraining for a couple of days, but overall she has done really well with her newfound freedom. She’s morphing from a willfull toddler into a willfull teenager, it would seem sometimes. If she feels she’s not getting enough attention, she will find something she knows she’s not supposed to have and runs off with it, making sure one of us is watching. Usually it’s a shoe. She never chews on them, she just takes them, then finds one of us and runs. It’s as if she’s saying, “I’m being bad! Don’t you want to chase me?” If she doesn’t drop it when I tell her, I hold one of her kibble-filled toys or her current favorite toy hostage until she gives it up.


By | 2017-09-24T22:57:45+00:00 November 4th, 2009|Stimuli|1 Comment

Our Life With the Hellhound: Month Two

Sleepy Ears

Our little hellhound is growing up fast (we weighed her on July 16th, and she was 44 pounds)! Little Kora is fast moving into puppy adolescence. We failed to mention it last time, but one of the funniest things about her is that you can tell how sleepy she is by the position of her ears. If they’re laid back, she’s not really awake yet, but if they’re forward and perky, she’s awake.

A good friend of mine has two adult dogs. When I told her we were getting a puppy, she told me that we needed to know that puppies lose their teeth–no one had mentioned this when her oldest was a puppy, and when his puppy teeth started falling out, she freaked. I’m very glad now for the warning, because it is a bit of a shock when you look down and there’s a puppy tooth on the floor with a very bewildered puppy looking down at it. Kora has been shedding her tiny puppy teeth and getting much sturdier-looking big-girl teeth this month. She’s lost about five in front of us…which makes me wonder where the other ones went. I’m grateful that she likes chewing on ice cubes and her washable fabric play mat.


By | 2017-09-24T23:00:58+00:00 July 26th, 2009|Stimuli|2 Comments

Our Life With The Hellhound: Month One

Kora with her bone

This rawhide bone tastes like a soul. Mmm nom nom nom.

We’ve been wanting a Hellhound around the Needcoffee compound for some time, and finally this summer, we began looking for the perfect one. While a fully grown hellhound would be cool to have, we thought it best to get a puppy so we could start training the hound early. After all, a hundred pound toothy mammal that doesn’t know how to behave and knows where you sleep…can be problematic, to say the least.

We also wanted to get a mix breed–not only to save money and because “pure breeds” just seem so terribly frou-frou–but also because pure bred dogs have the potential for all manner of genetic problems. Saint Bernards are awesome beasts, but reading the laundry list of stuff that could go wrong with them is just sad.

So after endless hours looking at Petfinder and other local rescue sites online, then meeting quite a few puppy candidates, we either hadn’t felt a true connection with anyone, or else they were adopted before we got to meet them (yay!). And then, late one night in May, we stumbled upon two puppies that needed a home on the Adopt A Pet website.


By | 2017-09-24T23:01:21+00:00 July 5th, 2009|Stimuli|3 Comments